Like the proverbial Phoenix, Berlin-based metal band SUN WORSHIP rise from their ashes with their third full lenght album. “Emanations of Desolation” is a bold and proud testament of renewal and stoic persistence which oozes selfconfidence, and which displays a band seemingly very much at ease with themselves – quite remarkable considering that not too long ago, they found themselves out of a guitar player and decided to scale down from the original trio to a duo operation.
“The band was more dead than alive for a few months,” asserts remaining guitarist/vocalist L. Ennsen. “We were considering options and decided to take it slowly. At some point we just got together again, began to write songs and realised there’s absolutely no way we want to involve anybody else in or even just expose them to that process.Furthermore, and this is why we actually kept going rather than calling it a day – writings songs for and performing them as a two-piece was an irrestible challenge and a proper act of defiance.”
Indeed, compared to both its predecessors, “Emanations of Desolation” sounds heroic, angry, and devoid of any too obvious influences. The old and easy formula to describe the music of SUN WORSHIP – a mix of ancient Norwegian and more recent North American black metal styles – no longer holds much validity, with the band delving into stylistic territories where this description simply falls too short. “We’ve obviously grown as songwriters, and we are much more at ease with just doing what feels right for us at a given moment, rather than think about if this is what the band should or could sound like,” Ennsen says. “Of course it’ll end up sounding like us because it IS us. The other factor is that with one guitar only, a lot of the melodic and harmonic elements which were at the core many older old songs simply had to be thrown out, or implemented within a totally re-structured framework. We had to re-focus, and that made us realise the actual strenghts of this band. At times, we bash in the total glory of primitivism, at others, we delve into the most complex material we’ve ever written. Also, there are a lot more actual riffs, and a lot more vocals, more of of everything.” This goes for the sheer minutes as well. Ennsen: “We never actually intended to release an hour-long album. It just so happened. We had no deadline, we just booked a studio at some point when it looked like the album was more or less written. No external pressure, this is only gonna make you rush things, which is no good. We thought, maybe one or
two songs won’t really work out in the end, but then they all did.”
The album was recorded during one week of May 2019 at Goblin Sound Studio in Cologne, with Andy Rosczyk at the helm. The decision to leave Berlin for the recordings was a very conscious and ultimately rewarding one, Ennsen reveals. “All the past albums were recorded in a total patchwork style. Drums in one place, guitars and vocals in another, mixing sessions after getting off work, etc. This time, we wanted to go somewhere for a week without distractions and if possible bring a final mix back home. Andy was an obvious choice, we knew him from touring with Ultha, we have a similar background and are totally on the same page when it comes to sound aesthetics and recording procedures. The process was extremely constructive, relaxed and enthusiastic from the very start. Also, we approached everything with different attitude than before. Rather than to correct every mistake and trying to be super tight all the time, we just wanted to nail down a raw, primal and dynamic studio performance – so we abandoned click tracks and all kinds of other shenanigans in favour of a different kind of perfection.”
SUN WORSHIP are not an easy band to categorize when it comes to lyrical themes and contents, which is partly due to their cryptic nature, and partly due to the bands’ hesitance to publicly discuss them. “We just prefer people to make up their own mind if they’re interested,” Ennsen comments. “Also, we don’t have an agenda and don’t want to be pigeon-holed. Which isn’t to say that we don’t have themes and concepts we explore on our albums. It is important to us that everything is coherent, and that everything falls into place beneath some sort of ambivalent greater thematic superstructure which is individual to each album. And of course, if anybody wants to talk about our lyrics on a more profound level than ‘what are they about?’, they are more than welcome.”